Bertelsmann-owned pan-European broadcasting unit RTL Group and NewsCorp-controlled BSkyB are in discussion about the cross-promoting of programming between their respective British units, terrestrial channel Five and Sky’s satellite platform.

In reply to questions as to whether this could lead to an exchange of equity, RTL ceo Didier Bellens was dismissive. His does, however, favor program cross-promotion and co-operation in other areas – both of which could bring benefits for the duo.

“It’s a similar audience,” he remarked, referring to the youthful demographics of their respective ventures, “and the distribution is complementary”.

Bellens revealed he had discussed the matter with Five’s former chief executive Dawn Airey who joins Sky in January as managing director of programmes. And although there have been no formal discussions with Sky as yet, “I know exactly what Dawn has in mind,” he said.

Airey, meantime, is prudently saying nothing. BSkyB likewise.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff